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Cablegate: Un-Iddr Considers Assistance to Controversial Spla

VZCZCXRO0047
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0987 1861349
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041349Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1222
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000987

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS, AF SE WILLIAMSON
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: UN-IDDR CONSIDERS ASSISTANCE TO CONTROVERSIAL SPLA
DISARMAMENT PROGRAM

REF: (A) KHARTOUM 927
(B) KHARTOUM 517
(C) KHARTOUM 506

1. (SBU) Summary: UN-Integrated Disarmament, Demobilization and
Reintegration (DDR) Chief Adrian Verheul said that the UN is
considering offering assistance to the SPLA's civilian disarmament
efforts as an incentive for them to use less force in their program.
He said that the UN plans to issue a statement of concern about the
SPLA's recent disarmament efforts (reftels). End summary.

UN CONSIDERS ASSISTANCE TO SPLA
-------------------------------

2. (SBU) UN-IDDR Chief Verheul told poloff on June 26 that UNDP-IDDR
is concerned about the reports of the SPLA's alleged "rough"
disarmament of civilians (ref A). Verheul said that UN-IDDR hopes
to encourage the SPLA to use less force, in exchange for offering to
provide safe and secure storage for the weapons. By engaging the
SPLA and storing the weapon, UNMIS and the various UN agencies that
compose the integrated UN DDR program would be in a position to
observe civilian disarmament. Verheual also hopes that by storing
the weapons, the UN could prevent outright theft by rogue SPLA
elements intent on re-selling the weapons. He acknowledged the UN
risks getting involved in what is an internal GOSS "law enforcement"
matter but said there is little choice because the SPLA's actions
could undermine the entire UN-IDDR process.

3. (SBU) Verheul criticized the SPLA actions as poor policy, noting
that GOSS President Kiir acted on his own and did not consult his
own government including GOSS Vice President Reik Machar. He said a
UN statement of concern on the SPLA's use of force is in the works
-- regretted the lengthy delay in the statement, noting that the
large number of UN DDR-associated organizations made the clearance
process time consuming. Verheul said the SRSG has requested that a
statement be issued quickly, but UNDP and UN Civil Affairs want to
ensure that the statement "strikes the right balance."

UN DDR AGREEMENT
----------------
4. (U) Separately, the GOS and the UN announced they had signed a
DDR agreement on June 25 at a DDR Donor Conference in Geneva,
co-chaired by UNDP and the Government of Japan. Donors reiterated
their full support to the Sudan DDR program, which it is estimated
will cost 430 million dollars over a four-year period starting in
2009. If successful, the program would reintegrate 180,000 SAF and
SPLA soldiers. This program would seek to double the current annual
level of funding budgeted for UN-led DDR activities.

COMMENT
-------

5. (SBU) UN-IDDR Chief Verheul, who arrived in February 2008, has
attempted to re-energize the DDR program. While an effective DDR
campaign is unlikely in the currently-charged political climate,
with forces facing off in Abyei and held in reserve all along the
North-South border, a robust DDR program must be attempted, if for
no other reason than to reduce the number of weapons that can fall
into civilian hands or be used by militias. The South is right to
start their program with civilians, and should extend this to
militias and SPLA personnel scheduled for retirement, as proposed in
ref A. However, the reality is that after decades of war in the
South, and the ongoing war in Darfur, the Sudan is awash in arms and
the UN DDR program, however well intentioned and funded, will only
scratch the surface.

FERNANDEZ

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